Cortitrol supplementation reduces serum cortisol responses to physical stress

Metabolism. 2005 May;54(5):657-68. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.12.010.


The supplement Cortitrol was formulated to mitigate the cortisol response to physiological and psychological stress. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Cortitrol on serum cortisol concentrations before, during, and after a high-intensity resistance exercise protocol (EX) and a resting control day (REST). We used a matched, balanced, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Blood samples were obtained at matching time points during EX and REST. Cortitrol significantly ( P < .05) reduced cortisol area under the curve concentrations during REST. During EX, Cortitrol reduced cortisol concentrations at 20, 10, and 0 minutes pre-exercise, at mid-exercise, immediately post-exercise, and at 5 minutes post-exercise. In addition, serum cortisol and plasma adrenocorticotropin hormone area under the curve concentrations during EX were significantly lower after Cortitrol than placebo. Furthermore, Cortitrol significantly reduced free radical production. This was indicated by significantly lower plasma malondialdehyde concentrations at the 65-minute post-exercise time point during REST, and at pre-exercise, immediate post-exercise, and 65 minutes post-exercise during EX. Serum total testosterone, free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and growth hormone showed exercise-induced increases but no treatment effects. These data demonstrate that Cortitrol was effective in modulating the physiological stress responses of exercise from the anticipatory rises before physical stress and into early recovery by reducing cortisol and associated free radical production.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Free Radicals / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Free Radicals / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Malondialdehyde / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Stress, Physiological / blood*
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology*
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Free Radicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • cortitrol
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone